It appears U.S. authorities aren’t finished with thinly disguised criminal racket Deutsche Bank after it emerged this week that regulators are beginning yet another investigation into criminal conduct by the bank, this time looking into a possible money laundering scheme performed in Russia.
Officials are investigating the transactions, worth billions of dollars, under the belief that they may have been used to cover up the illegal movement of money outside of Russia.
Sources report that the investigation of Deutsche Bank began earlier this summer and was initiated by The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS).
According to the same sources, there was an unsuccessful attempt to bribe an employee from Deutsche Bank by a client in Moscow to cover up the origin of their money.
A spokeswoman from Deutsche Bank said that the banking giant had “a small number of individuals” placed on leave from its Moscow office who were pending further review from within.
“We are committed to participating in international efforts to detect and combat suspicious activities and we take strong action where we find evidence of misconduct,” she said.
Deutsche Bank has informed regulators at Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority and Germany’s BaFin of its internal probe into the Russian division’s transactions from 2011-2015.
Investigators in New York suspect securities purchased in Moscow via Deutsche Bank were completed in parallel with other trades from Deutsche Bank in international currencies in London.
Sources say that this probe within the Russian section of Deutsche Bank focus on the possibility of these transactions, also known as “mirror trades” gave clients the ability to move large sums of money out of Russia while also covering up the source of the funds.
The DFS fined Deutsche Bank back in April to the tune of $600 million for meddling with Libor interest rates, which were used to fix millions of contracts worldwide. In this multi-bank conspiracy, Deutsche Bank also received a portion of a total of $2.5 billion in fines filed by British and US authorities.
The latest revelations, again, beg the question: At what point is a ‘bank’ just a criminal conspiracy whose operators should be subject to prosecution under the RICO statute?